In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the LORD spoken by Jeremiah… Ezra 1:1 NIV
This is what the Lord says: “You will be in Babylon for seventy years. But then I will come and do for you all the good things I have promised, and I will bring you home again. 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. Jer 29:10-11 NLT
God uses people to do His work. The church is the hope of the world. The church is God’s love with skin.
Any of you who are his people may go to Jerusalem in Judah to rebuild this Temple of the Lord, the God of Israel, who lives in Jerusalem… Ezra 1:3
Then God stirred the hearts of the priests and Levites and the leaders of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin to go to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple of the Lord. 6 And all their neighbors assisted by giving them articles of silver and gold, supplies for the journey, and livestock. They gave them many valuable gifts in addition to all the voluntary offerings. Ezra 1:5-6
Get Yourself Home
Getting home is a process of which we are all a part. We move from a level of low commitment and spiritual immaturity to high commitment and maturity.
Get God’s Stuff Home
God likes material things because He created them. It’s how they are used by humans that makes them good or bad.
They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen. 26 That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Rom 1:25-26
People away from God use God’s stuff to acquire the pleasures of the world instead of to do the work of God.
Israel was sent into exile for misusing God’s stuff.
1) Move stuff from your house to God’s house.
7 King Cyrus himself brought out the articles that King Nebuchadnezzar had taken from the Lord’s Temple in Jerusalem and had placed in the temple of his own gods.
2) Move all from your hands to God’s hands.
8 Cyrus directed Mithredath, the treasurer of Persia, to count these items and present them to Sheshbazzar, the leader of the exiles returning to Judah. 9 This is a list of the items that were returned:
gold basins — 30
silver basins — 1,000
silver incense burners — 29
10 gold bowls — 30
silver bowls — 410
other items — 1,000
11 In all, there were 5,400 articles of gold and silver. Sheshbazzar brought all of these along when the exiles went from Babylon to Jerusalem.
“Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. 21 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be. Matt 6:19-21